41. The Scriveners' Play: The Incredulity of Thomas

Alas, that we for woe were wrought:
Never have men had so much thought.
Since our dear Lord to death was brought
	By the Jews fell.
Out of this place, we dare move not;
	But here ever dwell.

Here have we dwelled with pains strong.
Life we loathe, we live too long,
For since the Jews did us that wrong,
	Our Lord brought low,
We never dared come them among:
	Nowhere to go.

The wicked Jews hate us full ill;
With bitter pain, they would us kill.
Therefore I say we should dwell still,
	Here where we stand.
Until our Lord, Christ, to us will
	Some succor send.

Peace and rest be with you.

Ah, brothers dear, what can we know?
What was that sight we saw just now,
	Shining so bright,
That vanished thus, we know not how,
	Out of our sight?

Out of our sight, now is it sought.
It maddens us, the light it brought.

What it may be, sirs, I know not,
	But certainly,
It must have been vanity in our thought;
	Naught else could it be.

Peace unto you evermore might be:
Dread you not, for I am he.

In God's name, benedicite!
	What may this mean?

It's a spirit, in truth, it seems to me:
	A haunting fiend.

A spirit it is, I think you're right.
All that appeared here to our sight,
It makes us mad in main and might,
	So we are flayed.
It is the same that brought the light,
	Made us afraid.

What think you madmen in your thought?
What mourning in your hearts is brought?
I am Christ, so dread you not.
	Here you may see:
This same body, which you bought,
	Upon a tree.

I have come with you to meet.
Behold and see my hands and feet.
Go on, here grope my five wounds wet:
	Here all that is.
This was done your sins to beat,
	And bring to bliss.

These pains for you I've undergone;
I feel them greatly, every one.
And see - I do have flesh and bone.
	Touch me now.
For substance has a spirit none -
	That you must know.

To make you recognize me clear,
I'll show a few examples here.
Bring you forth unto me near,
	Some of your meat -
If anything, among you here,
	You have to eat.

Ah, loving Lord, that shall last aye,
Lo, here is meat that you eat may.
A honeycomb, the truth to say;
	Roast fish also.
Do eat of these, we pray,
	With full good will.

Now that you have brought me meat,
To make your truth steadfast and great,
And so despair you will forget,
	And trust in me;
With you in here now I will eat.
	This you shall see.

Now have I done - you have seen how,
Boldly eating here with you.
Steadfastly look you trust me now,
	Again as then;
And take the remnant soon to you,
	That here is left.

For you thus was I rent and raised;
Therefore, some of my pain you taste,
And nowhere speak - my word you waste.
	This you shall learn,
And into you, the holy ghost,
	Receive you here.

Be now true, and trust in me,
And here I grant your powers be:
He whom you bind, bound shall he be,
	At your command.
Whoever you loosen, loosed he will be
	Evermore in heaven.

Alas, for sight and sorrows sad,
Mourning makes me amazed and mad.
On ground now, may I go un-glad,
	Both even and morn.
That noble from whom salvation I had,
	His life has lorn.

Lorn I have, that lovely light,
That was my master most in might;
So doleful was his death's dark night,
	As never no man.
Such woe was wrought that worthy wight
	With wide wounds wan.

Wan were his wounds and wondrous wet;
With blows full hard was he beaten, that sweet -
All nailed through his hands and feet.
	Alas, for pain!
That blessed, the best who bale might beat,
	Of life was slain.
Alas, for sorrow, myself I rend,
When I think of that noble one's end.
I found him ever a faithful friend,
	Truly to tell.
To my brothers, now I will wend,
	Where they do dwell.

Such woeful men, were never none.
All our joy and comfort's gone;
In mourning may we make our moan,
	In every land.
God bless you brothers, blood and bone,
	Where you now stand.

Welcome Thomas, where have you been?
Know you well, undoubtedly,
Jesus our lord, we have just seen!
	The ground he used

Alas for pain!  What do you mean?
	I think you're confused!

Thomas, the truth it is to say:
Jesus our Lord is risen again.

Go way!  It's all a trick or play
	Of fools unwise,
He, whom they so fully did slay,
	How should he rise?

Thomas, truly, he's alive,
Who suffered the Jews his flesh to rive.
He let us feel his wide wounds five:
	Our lord today.

I don't believe, so might I thrive,
	A word you say.

Thomas, we saw his wounds wet -
How he was nailed through hands and feet;
Some honey and fish, with us, he did eat;
	That body free.

I lay my life, it was some spirit,
	You thought was he.

No, Thomas, you have gone wrong,
Because he bade us, every one,
To feel him directly, blood and bone,
	His flesh to tell.
Of such things Thomas, have spirits none
	You know that well.

What, dear fellows, let be this affair.
Until I see his body bare,
And then my finger put in there,
	Within his hide,
And feel the wound the spear did tear,
	Right in his side,

Till then, I'll buy no tales between.

Thomas, that wound we have seen.

Yeah, you don't know what you mean.
	Your wit, it wants.
You must think it no sin, to thus me tease,
	And mock with taunts.

Peace brothers, be unto you;
And Thomas, some heed of me take:
Put forth your finger now,
	My hands you see,
How I was nailed for man's sake,
	Upon a tree.

Behold, my wounds are bleeding -
Here in my side put your hand;
Feel my wounds here, understand
	That this is I
And be no more misbelieving,
	But know truly.

My lord, my God, full well is me!
Ah, blood of price, blessed must you be!
Mankind on earth, behold and see,
	This blessed blood.
Mercy now lord, I ask thee,
	With might and mood.

Thomas, since you have seen this sight,
That I am risen, as I promised aright,
Therefore you believe.  But every wight,
	Blessed be forever,
That wholly believes in my rising right,
	And saw it never.
My brothers, go forth together from here:
My rising in every country clear,
Everywhere, both far and near,
	Preached shall be.
And my blessing I will give you here,
	And my many.

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